General Birding

Missing Devon rarity records 2018 UPDATE

We have had a good response to the request for missing descriptions for a number of ‘A’ species reported in 2018. Thank you to those who have made the effort to provide these.

However some descriptions remain outstanding meaning, as things stand, they will not make the official record as part of the 2018 Devon Bird Report. It would be a great shame to lose these records but the report deadline is pressing.

If you saw any of these birds (you don’t have to be the finder) please can you submit a description and/or photos asap to Kev Rylands: Thank you.

Cory’s Shearwater (2) Ilfracombe 28 July
Cory’s Shearwater Thurlestone 26 August
Glossy Ibis Exe Estuary 21-27 October
Golden Oriole Blaxton Meadow 18 April
Great White Egret Exminster Marshes 30 March
Great White Egret Exmouth 06 May
Honey-buzzard Dartmoor 21-22 May
Pectoral Sandpiper Upper Tamar Lake 13 August
Rose-coloured Starling Beesands 27-28 August
Tree Sparrow Haldon 20 May

Posted September 24th at 8:44 am by Pete Aley in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

Please take extra care when visiting Dawlish Warren. We have been informed that due to the recent bad weather there has been significant erosion from Groyne 10 eastwards. This means that access along the site, to and from Warren Point (and the bird hide) will be via the beach only, with a risk of being cut off for a period either side of high water! Signs have been put up to alert people to the hazards, but people need to be aware that access routes that they have become used to may not be available and they need to exercise extreme caution,  with the possibility of being cut off by the tide, and people are strongly urged not to try climbing the sand cliffs. Further information is available on the Teignbridge District Council website.

Posted November 9th, 2018 at 11:08 am by Mike Daniels in General Birding


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Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Sightings Page Changes

Acting on comments to Devon Birds some changes have been made to this page. To the right of this header post you'll see there are now several subjects for you to choose to read and post on. Just click your chosen subject and use as previously.

Please be careful not to post under the wrong subject. If you do, you can still easily go back to edit and change the subject yourself so it appears on the right page.

Please try and keep posts short, particularly in the Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts page. Photographs are still very welcome.  

For help with ID email photos to

Posted June 30th, 2016 at 9:24 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Friday 21st December 2018

Med gull at Broadsands

Ist winter Med Gull on the rocks from Broadsands today. Also Black-Necked Grebe and many Great-Northern Divers in bay and towards Brixham, and two Chiffchaff and a male and female Blackcap in the first car-park. The Surf Scoter and Common Scoters were seen heading towards Broadsands from Goodrington mid-afternoon.

Posted December 21st, 2018 at 5:08 pm by Mark Brandon in General Birding


An early morning look from Goodrington. Surf Scotor 1st wint, Common Scoter 4, Red-throated Diver 1, Great Northern Diver 2, Shelduck 7 & Great Crested Grebe 48.


Posted December 21st, 2018 at 4:46 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

scaup at Fremington Pill

The scaup is still at Fremington Pill - seen on this afternoon's incoming tide.


Posted December 21st, 2018 at 3:56 pm by Colin Dracott in General Birding


Water Rails in the flooded area to the left of the hide.Arlington woodland.

Water Rail   both rails poor photo
Water Rail                                      both rails poor photo

Posted December 21st, 2018 at 3:37 pm by john elvin in General Birding

Northern visitors at Marine Parade

Three GND's fishing and minding their own business till the gulls spotted how successful they were being and started mobbing them. I assume the dark bird is a female but could find no reference to plumage in Hamlyn?


Eds: These are Eiders Philip - a good record in recent years in Torbay -  I'm on my way to see them now!

Posted December 21st, 2018 at 11:33 am by pHILIP l. FAIRCLOUGH in General Birding

Thursday 20th December 2018

Mediterranean Gulls, Marine Parade, Paignton

Two Mediterranean Gulls at Marine Parade, Preston, Paignton this morning.

Twenty two Turnstone, Little Egret, Oyster Catcher, Pied Wagtail and four Great Crested Grebe well out at sea.


Posted December 20th, 2018 at 3:51 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Teignmouth Pier

Still a Great Northern Diver and a 1W Little Gull near the pier this lunchtime.

Posted December 20th, 2018 at 3:04 pm by Simon Bates in General Birding

Red Necked Grebe

Elberry Cove Broadsands

1 Red Necked Grebe and 2 Black Necked Grebe close to the shoreline this morning together with good number of Great Northern Divers scatted around the bay.. 

Posted December 20th, 2018 at 3:02 pm by Roy Adams in General Birding

Wednesday 19th December 2018

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Treecreeper (only my second of the year here), Firecrest (now probably 5 wintering on the patch), Jack Snipe, Snipe 2, Shag 2, Little Grebe 3+, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Ring-necked Parakeet, Dunlin 148, Black-tailed Godwit, Wigeon 9 & Oystercatcher 9.

Posted December 19th, 2018 at 9:25 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Northbrook, - Salmon Pool

A quick pre-dentist visit this afternoon - usual Green Sands and (possibly) two pairs of Dipper (one pair near Lethbridge Road and the others nearer Topsham Road). A Little Egret on the flooded pitch and putt course and a lone Redshank on the similarly flooded Duckes Marsh Playing Fields.  A Treecreeper near Salmon Pool was the first I've seen there for over a year and was the highlight.

Dipper  Little Egret  Redshank
Dipper                              Little Egret                        Redshank

Posted December 19th, 2018 at 4:11 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Tuesday 18th December 2018

Ilfracombe Pier

Today still several Black Redstarts around the seafront. A few rareties on the sea, 2 Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver were feeding off the Pier. Further out a Skua sp was chasing Kittiwakes and Gannets off Capstone point. The storm drain has been attracting masses of Gulls, counts of up to 1000 are regular. 3 Porpoise were showing well and a large Bull Grey Seal was snacking on a Small eyed Ray. 

Shag aka Colin Bull seal breaking up a Skate
Shag aka Colin                                                    Bull seal breaking up a Skate

Posted December 18th, 2018 at 10:06 pm by Martin Thorne in General Birding

Scaup - Fremington Pill

The greater scaup still at Fremington Pill North Devon this morning at 10:30 however could not be found again on the return pass 40mins later.

Posted December 18th, 2018 at 3:56 pm by alan craddock in General Birding

Fremington Pill

The greater scaup was still at Fremington Pill at high tide today.

Posted December 18th, 2018 at 2:48 pm by Colin Dracott in General Birding

Monday 17th December 2018

Kingswood hill/ Challacombe Moor

A before sunset trip out over in the hope of seeing some seo's saw 5 red kite, a kestral, peregrine and numerous buzzards.sadly no seo's. There were large murms of many hundreds possibly thousands of starling and a large flight of golden plover which finally settled on the Moor. 

Posted December 17th, 2018 at 9:08 pm by Philip worth in General Birding

Blaxton Meadow (Plymouth)

A excellent event today organised by the National Trust, saw five volunteers and a ranger pointing out birds to over 50 interested visitors. Some 600 birds of 32 species visited the meadow during the high tide including 2 showy Kingfishers, 4 Goosanders (a drake & 3 redheads), 10 Wigeon, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 52 Curlews, 8 Oystercatchers, Common Sandpiper & 32 Shelducks.

All the visitors seemed very appreciative of the efforts to reduce disturbance which has led to positive effects for birds and birdwatchers. Many thanks to everyone involved.

On the estuary, also 2 drake Red-breasted Mergansers & 3 Little Grebes, and earlier a Firecrest by The Ride.

Posted December 17th, 2018 at 7:40 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Early Christmas dinner at Exminster Marsh

One less Canada Goose or an early Christmas dinner. Not much of any note on the marsh for a brief afternoon visit today. 4 Greylags and 4 Barnacles in with the Canada's and a Peregrine (as usual) on the pylon.

Canada Goose carcass Barnacle Goose (distant)
Canada Goose carcass                         Barnacle Goose (distant)

Posted December 17th, 2018 at 6:49 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

fremington quay and Barnstaple

Glossy Ibis, 2 Greenshank,many Redshank, Kingfisher,teal 3 common Snipe and 1 cattle egret from the stubble and then over the river towards Braunton.


Eds: a reminder to label photographs some viewers will not know what the birds are.. Here Glossy Ibis with Greenshank, Kingfisher and 2 Snipe with Redshank.

Posted December 17th, 2018 at 5:12 pm by john elvin in General Birding

west Charleton marsh

Please note that access to hide is impossible at present due to high level of water

Posted December 17th, 2018 at 4:16 pm by lesley goonesekera in General Birding

R.Taw, Barnstaple. Pottington to Bradiford Water. 1045-1145. High Tide 1327.

Black-tailed Godwit 41; Bar-tailed Godwit 2; Dark-bellied Brent Goose 138; Teal 4; Shelduck 4;

Goosander 9 (6M,3redheads) and just 1 Sanderling.

Posted December 17th, 2018 at 3:00 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Fremington Pill this morning

Greater Scaup


Posted December 17th, 2018 at 12:58 pm by David Paterson in General Birding

Sunday 16th December 2018

Plym Estuary & Saltram

On Blaxton Meadow - 2 Snipe, 2 Goosanders (redheads), 10 Wigeon, 4 Black-tailed Godwits, 5 Greenshanks, 32 Shelducks & c40 Curlews,  Also Ring-necked Parakeet(s) heard, 2 Little Grebes and a Shag. 

Posted December 16th, 2018 at 7:53 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Charleton Marsh / Bay

Out in the bay Great Northern Diver, Pintail, 469 Wigeons, 50 Brent Geese, 5 Great Crested Grebes, 3 Little Grebes, c400 Golden Plovers, Greenshank, 43 Curlews and a Rock Pipit. On a flooded marsh, more a lake, 134 Teals, 2 Gadwalls, Greenshank and Water Rail.

Posted December 16th, 2018 at 5:21 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Baggy Point & Down End

At Baggy Point: four Eiders, 27 Common Scoters, two Red-throated Divers, plus single Gannet, Water Rail (first time I've ever recorded one at this site), Mediterranean Gull and female Blackcap. Down End was quiet apart from a pair of Stonechats and a superb male Black Redstart.

Posted December 16th, 2018 at 2:43 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Exe Estuary divers

A link to video of the divers on YouTube:

Does anyone else think the new, paler bird looks odd?  Upper mandible appears to be dark all along ridge of upper mandible - can White-billed ever show this?

Eds: It is a paler headed Great Northern compared to the other bird it is with and larger billed too but the dark all the way to the tip of the upper mandible rules out White billed Diver. The bill would have looked more yellowish too even in today's light.

Posted December 16th, 2018 at 2:02 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Exe Estuary: Cockwood

Started my WeBS count this morning with close views (but awful light) from Cockwood Steps of 2 Great Northern Divers (new one with pale on back of head rather reminiscent of White-billed!) and 'Herbert', the resident Slavonian Grebe; pretty awful phonescoped images below. At least 3 G C Grebes and a Kingfisher also near Cockwood Steps. Rest of count uneventful, apart from a hailstorm!

Great Northern Diver fw Great Northern Divers Slavonian Grebe                                             Great Northern Divers                                    Slavonian Grebe

Posted December 16th, 2018 at 1:45 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Exe Powderham to Turf

Another impressive count of pintail near Greenland Bank - 250, otherwise few birds on the WeBS count today. The big surprise were 2 male cirl buntings feeding alongside 2 linnet and 3 meadow pipits on the sea-wall and at times on the cycle path about 200m north of the new bridge at Powderham.

Posted December 16th, 2018 at 1:03 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

Decoy Lake, Newton Abbot

A Great Northern Diver was on the lake at Decoy, Newton Abbot, This morning(16-12-18) at 08.45

Posted December 16th, 2018 at 9:49 am by nick hamzij in General Birding

Saturday 15th December 2018


One of the Common Snipe on the scrape.

Posted December 15th, 2018 at 2:00 pm by john elvin in General Birding

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